January 14, 2021
TenPoint today unveiled its all-new, 2021 Havoc RS440 platform, featuring the Garmin XERO — a cutting-edge combination that sets a new standard for speed, maneuverability and accuracy.
Measuring just 26.5 inches long (not including the foot stirrup) and just 7.5 inches wide when cocked (12.25 inches at rest), the Havoc RS440 XERO is notably compact yet still propels 400-grain bolts at a blistering 440 feet per second, yielding a bone-crushing 171.9 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. TenPoint then pairs that performance with the Garmin XERO X1i laser-rangefinding scope that instantly ranges targets at the touch of a button and provides dead-on aiming points for any distance out to 80 yards. The end result, according to TenPoint, is the most accurate long-range crossbow ever built.
There are a ton of features worth mentioning on the Havoc RS440 XERO, but I can’t help but start with how well balanced and maneuverable this crossbow is. Immediately upon picking up the bow, I noted how comfortable the pistol grip is and how easy it was to hold the bow steady while shouldered. Much of the credit for this can be found in the reverse-draw bow assembly that places the machined, aluminum riser near the center of the unit. This results in an overall center mass that’s in line with the grip, eliminating the front-end heavy awkwardness found with many traditional crossbow designs. In addition to being very steady, the crossbow’s relatively short length and width make it a dream to handle and will surely prove nimble in the confines of a ground blind or treestand.
As for the shooting experience itself, the Havoc RS440 XERO proved extremely accurate and surprisingly quiet for a crossbow that is so quick and compact. Once properly calibrated, the XERO X1i scope, combined with the bow’s great balance and crisp, 3.5-pound, S1 trigger, make it easy to shoot accurately even off-hand at common bowhunting ranges. At longer distances — say, beyond 40 yards — the use of a stable shooting rest will really open your eyes regarding how consistently this crossbow/scope tandem will put your bolts in the bull’s-eye.
As mentioned, the Havoc RS440 XERO features a reverse-draw bow assembly that greatly improves overall balance of the unit by placing the CNC-machined, 7075-T6 aluminum riser at the center of the crossbow. The riser also features TenPoint’s TRI-LOCK limb pockets for a precise limb-to-riser fit and enhanced accuracy.
The reverse-draw design also places the string further from the trigger box at rest, resulting in a longer power stroke. TenPoint further increases this advantage by bringing the bowstring off the front of the RX-7 Cams. The end result is a 13.5-inch power stroke and increased string travel that results in the cams rotating a full 360 degrees during the cocking process. That means more power and energy stored in the DUAL FLEX limbs and, when combined with the SLING-SHOT technology incorporated into the Vector Quad cables, generates the impressive 440 fps speed rating.
By using four cables (two on each side) instead of the traditional two, TenPoint is also able to evenly distribute the draw force on the top and bottom of the cams, eliminating cam lean in the process and boosting downrange accuracy.
Lock, Stock and Barrel
The bow assembly is sandwiched between the rest of the crossbow by the 16-inch MICRO-TRAC barrel on the top and the new TEC-TACTICAL stock on the bottom. The machined aluminum barrel is fluted to reduce surface are by 50 percent, greatly reducing friction and increasing string life. In fact, TenPoint says shooters can expect more than 1,000 shots from the Havoc RS440 before string replacement is necessary.
The TEC-TACTICAL stock is made from high-strength, low-weight, glass-filled polypropylene. It features the aforementioned pistol grip with a built-in ranging button that allows shooters to range targets, aim and shoot all without ever taking their hand off the grip. The stock also features a custom elevated cheek piece that makes it easy to align your face with the scope, a rubber butt pad with an inch of adjustment to customize length of pull, a pass-through foregrip with Glass-Reinforced Nylon Safety Wings and a hollow pocket that houses the ACUslide cocking system.
The stock is also home to TenPoint’s S1 trigger that features a two-stage, zero-creep design and an advanced roller-sear system that delivers a crisp, 3.5-pound pull. The trigger features an auto-engaging safety and is also equipped with TenPoint’s DFI (Dry-Fire-Inhibitor) that prevents the string from being released if a bolt is not properly loaded. The trigger mechanism is also fitted with a nylon-filament bolt-retention brush that improves grip and alignment to reduce noise and vibration. Noise and vibration are further reduced after the shot by an integrated string stop system found at the end of the barrel.
Cocking Made Easy
TenPoint introduced its revolutionary ACUslide cocking mechanism last year, and the system remains at the forefront when it comes to crossbow cocking and de-cocking.
The ACUslide allows the trigger box to travel up and down the barrel of the crossbow via a heavy-duty, 1,800-pound-test nylon strap that is married to the crank mechanism integrated into the buttstock. Thanks to TenPoint’s groundbreaking Auto-Brake Gear System, the ACUslide allows users to cock and de-cock the crossbow with complete control and in complete silence, which is critical in hunting situations. At any point during the cocking or de-cocking process, you can simply remove your hand from the crank handle and the brake will prevent the mechanism from moving. This means there is no risk of an accidental dry fire that could damage the bow or cause personal injury.
In addition to added safety for your equipment and yourself, the ACUslide system reduces effort required to cock the bow to just 5 pounds thanks to the XTEND Adjustable Crank Handle that stored securely in the stock.
The ACUslide also features an industry-first Trigger Lock-Latch that locks the trigger box in exactly the same place each time the string is cocked. This both removes tension from the cocking strap and also ensures a consistent draw length — and thus, more consistent accuracy — shot after shot.
After using the ACUslide on both the 2020 Vapor RS470 and the new Havoc RS440, I can say without a doubt it is the easiest and most secure crossbow cocking system I have used to date. The cocking/de-cocking process is typically the most trouble aspect of shooting and hunting with a crossbow, but the ACUslide makes it extremely easy, convenient and worry-free.
Last but certainly not least is Garmin’s cutting-edge XERO X1i scope. Featuring premium optics and a fixed, 3.5X magnification, the scope mounts quickly to the Picatinny scope rail on the Havoc and features a built-in laser rangefinder that can measure reflective targets up to 500 yards away and deer-sized game up to 250 yards away at the touch of a button.
The XERO is calibrated for the crossbow by heading to the target range and following a series of simple instructions on the scope’s internal display. Once properly calibrated, you can simply look through the scope, acquire your target and press the ranging button integrated into the Havoc’s pistol grip to range the target. The scope then automatically calculates the holding point for any range up to 80 yards and displays the aiming point. The entire process, which TenPoint refers to as “Range. Aim. Kill.” can be accomplished in mere seconds. After repeated range sessions, I can assure you the scope is both fast and amazingly accurate. By eliminating the need to “gap shoot” between the lines of traditional scope reticles, you will also feel more confident as you place the aiming point in the center of the bull’s-eye or vital area on every shot.
Additional aiming points for distances greater than 80 yards can easily be calibrated on the practice range and stored in the scope. Multiple bolt profiles also allow users to set the scope up for various bolt/broadhead combinations and easily switch back and forth without having to make any additional scope adjustments. Shooters can also choose from a variety of scope display colors and aiming point options. The scope can even adjust brightness automatically to match ambient lighting conditions.
The XERO scope boasts a host of other useful features designed to make you more deadly in the field, such as Steady Aim that provides a visual indicator of how well you are holding on target, a digital bubble level that helps you eliminate accuracy-robbing bow lean while aiming and a visual indicator showing you the apex of your bolt’s trajectory in flight to help avoid tree limbs and other obstacles that could deflect your shot.
Finally, the XERO can communicate with compatible Garmin devices such as GPS units and smart watches for features such as Laser Locate to show you exactly where your target was located when you took the shot, allowing you a point of reference when searching for your bolt or beginning your tracking effort. The XERO scope operates on two AAA lithium batteries thar Garmin says will provide up to a year of operation under normal use.
What’s in the Box?
The Havoc RS440 XERO is available only as a complete, ready-to-shoot package that includes: the Havoc RS440 crossbow with ACUslide and integrated string stop; Garmin XERO X1i scope; six EVO-X 16-inch CenterPunch premium carbon bolts with +/-.001-inch straightness; and six-bolt Tech Quiver. The crossbow is finished in Veil Alpine camouflage and made in the USA. The package has a retail price of $3,599.99.
The Bottom Line
There is an awful lot to like about the Havoc RS440 XERO. From the individual components to overall fit and finish, its quality really shines through. From long-range shooting sessions on the range to big-game adventures in the backcountry, the Havoc offers more than enough performance to get the job done.
If there’s one thing I could change about this crossbow, it would be to reduce its overall weight, which comes in at a little more than 10.5 pounds (not including quiver), though the XERO scope alone accounts for 1.9 pounds of that total. There is also the not-so-small matter of its price. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, and in this case, the Havoc RS440 XERO is an ultra-premium product with a corresponding price. (It’s also worth nothing here that TenPoint is offering the Havoc RS440 with a standard scope option starting at $2,499.99.)
All in all, however, those are relatively mild criticisms. In fact, there probably isn’t a shooting or hunting scenario when you’d feel ill-equipped with the Havoc RS440 XERO in your hands. And if price weren’t a consideration, it is hard to imagine any serious crossbow enthusiast not wanting to put a Havoc RS440 XERO through its paces.
To see the entire new 2021 crossbow lineup from TenPoint, click here.